Fat, fatter, fastest….

Give me a bunch of women, any age, from 15 to 80, put them together in a room, and I bet my last carefully hidden slice of Dutch truffle pastry that the talk will soon enough turn to matters of the fat. Sometimes I think the gurgles emanating from the baby bassinets in nurseries are actually those of newborn girl babies ruing their so adorable fat deposits and the chubby arms they sport. “Just waiting to get myself out of this damn crib and get to work on those biceps, and ohmygod, my gluts, they’re just layered over by fat. Gotta start that diet soon.” And then the moms agonise themselves into total white cloud hair despair about why their child refuses to nurse anymore. No, its not a blister in the upper palate, its not colic, its a new non lactic diet the baby has gone on. Anusha from the neighbouring crib told her all about it, apparently, if you cut down your lactose intake, and you burn more fat and energy by crying excessively through the night. Guaranteed to reduce your total body fat percentage to near about zero. Works everytime.

Talk about the diets on display, from GM, to Atkins, to macrobiotic to colour coded fruit and veggies, to the blood type diet, to just eat all you want (this one was authored by yours truly, and if only the world recognised its true worth, would be a multimillionaire. Unfortunately, am not a good enough advertisement for it). Its a reverse pride thingie. I am fatter than you. I am therefore grosser than you. Have hushed sympathy for me. Am trying so damn hard to be pathetic. It is a reverse osmosis for women who actually have no body fat on them and are so skinny they have to drink up oil to lubricate their joints when they get out of bed every morning. And then they mourn about their non existent fat, plucking desperately at stoneboard abdomen skin to pretend it is flab and elicit a moue of sympathy from all the flabby Janes present. Not from me. Go get your sympathy elsewhere.

I see them every day in the malls, in their uniform black lycra tees and lycra enhanced snug butt lift fit jeans, with gilt edged LV trainers and owl eyed Chanel sunglasses perched on their carefully-brushed-till -rebonding-breaks-down hair at eight in the evening. I hear the creak creak as they walk past and rejoice at the well lubricated joints I possess.

No sympathy for me. No one telling me to shut up about how fat I am when they cant see a centimeter of excess fat on my torso. I get exercise and diet tips from all and sundry, unasked for. Dietary tips roll off the tongues of waiters at restaurants I dine at. One avuncular waiter kindly told me to stick to the fresh lime soda salted as they didnt have the item in question available with a sugar free sweetener used to sweeten it up. I bristled silently at the implied comment about my expanding girth. Yes. Thank you for your concern over my adipose. I’ll keep it, thank you.

The husband’s current favourite show is The Biggest Loser. He sits through it, pointing out excitedly the guarguatan amounts of weight the participants have lost, and then casts a sad mournful glance over at me, sitting next to him, happily wolfing down my fifth serving of alpine torte fondue, happily ignorant to the irony of the show I am watching and the plate in my lap. The glance will then slide off my thickened skin, like water off an oilslicked duck.  This is a woman who has seriously considered replacing all the mirrors in her house with slimming ones. The ones that make you look a kilometer taller and slimmer. Giselle Bundchen with badly highlighted hair and brown skin. That’s me. Will wallpaper my home with these mirrors. Doesn’t matter that they make the refrigerator look like a pencil. That’s me in these mirrors. Every changing room has them. Anything you wear in a changing room makes you look like a ramp scorcher, but wear it back at home and you look like the little Lotta you are.

Coming back to the women and fat debate, hover around any cluster of women, whether at the local fresh produce market, or in the hushed rarified confines of the plush velvet carpeted floored Members only luxe club, women talk about fat. It is the great equaliser. And it is the moment of reckoning when a babe flaunting to kill for abs, with six packs defining its perimeters, groans about how flabby she has become. Instant visual crucification by all the others present, including yours truly, who have kidded themselves with such notable excuses like caesarian bulges and polyp removals and laparoscopies and such like which absolutely justify the little paunchie that refuses to go right back in after the little one has popped his head out and waved to the world. My baby has waved valiantly at the world four years ago (he came out a superstar, one hand out acknowledging his following), but the paunch remains as a sad testament to my laziness and absolute inefficiency at getting back in place. And there are women I knew with three brats out of the hatch and not a centimeter out of place. Yes, yes, its all about personal trainers and prioritising and running after them kids in trainers. Which, sadly, stilletoes donot allow for. Therefore, the choice is between a smidgeon of height to balance out the width or more mobility and, knowing me, will happily go with the former.

Scene one: Kiran, in the middle of the road, with brake failure road roller racing amok towards her in much the menacing manner of evil hairy rakshasha rushing to crush down a hapless human in an ashram as depicted in the Amar Chitra Kathas of yore (Why aren’t our kids reading these anymore? On a tangent: Outraged at this complete lack of interest in Indian culture and mythology and this obscene servility to Harry Potter and Pottermania among the current young. Another post on that coming up soon.) 

“Get out of the way, get out of the way,” scream frozen with fear onlookers, trembling in anticipation of seeing pulpy Kiran roadkill rolled to the slimmest she could ever get on the potholed road.

Vain Kiran will mince gingerly (or elegantly unfazed, as she kids herself) to the edge of the road, coming within a hair’s breadth of instant death and decapicitation, rather than throw off six inch stilletoes and run for her life. Moral of the story: Better tall and dead, than alive and short and fat to boot. I rest my case.

PS: In case you are wondering, one does not go to the park in high heels anymore. Dig to deep into the grass to allow for walking of any sort. Fat lady struggling to get pointed heel out of squilchy mud while squealing at brat to stay within a one kilometer radius?? That could have been me. But then, I could kill a mugger with one of them heels. A sudden sharp stap to the jugular and tis done. It is a defence weapon, and therefore has a legit right to be on person. And yes, Jimmy Choo has come to India.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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